Sales of jeans tumble, and you can guess why: Yoga pants

Here’s a story that seems to be delighting the media, judging by the number of stories posted in the past few hours: Yoga pants are killing jeans.

Not literally. But there does seem to be some correlation between the increase in sales of yoga pants and a decrease in denim purchases.

Here’s from the Associated Press story (found at Newsday):

To be sure, the jeans business isn’t dead: Customer Growth Partners, a retail consultancy, estimates denim accounts for 20 percent of annual sales at the nation’s department stores.

But sales of jeans in the U.S. fell 6 percent to $16 billion during the year that ended in June, according to market research firm NPD Group, while sales of yoga pants and other “active wear” climbed 7 percent to $33.6 billion.

And Levi Strauss, which invented the first pair of blue jeans 141 years ago, is among jean makers that acknowledge their business has been hurt by what the fashion industry dubs the “athleisure” trend. That’s led them to create new versions of classic denim that are more “stretchy” and mimic the comfort of sweatpants.

I can’t get this scenario out of my head:

Scruffy gunslinger slaps his whiskey down on the saloon’s bar and settles his hat on his head. He kicks back the stool, and arranges his holster low on his hips and brushes some dust from the front of his jeans.

“Thanks, barkeep,” he mutters, as he turns and walks to the swinging wood doors.

As he pushes the doors open and steps out into the bright, hot sun (we’re in West Texas, probably), he shades his eyes with his left hand; his right hangs loosely near one of his pistols.

Before he can look around, though, he’s slugged on top of the head with a Manduka yoga mat (the black mat pro), and he crumbles in a heap on the saloon’s wood patio.

“Namaste,” the cheery, yoga-pants wearing young woman says, as she heads off to the Haute Yoga studio next door.

Posted by Steve

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The coconut water wars

Yes, we’re going a little New York Times heavy these past few days. But here’s another story that seems right up the yoga/Ashtanga alley — the selling of coconut water:

The battle for this market, worth $400 million a year and growing, now involves big players like Pepsi and Coke. But in the beginning, it looked more like a street fight between two guys. One was then a 29-year-old college dropout who rolled to Manhattan bodegas at night, on in-line skates, carrying samples in a backpack. The other was a former Peace Corps volunteer, driving a beat-up Econoline Ford van and fighting for the same turf.

Michael Kirban, who with a buddy founded Vita Coco, and Mark Rampolla, who founded its archrival Zico, happened to start selling nearly identical brands, in the same neighborhoods of New York City, at almost the same time — a week or two apart, in late 2004.

Those in the fray called it the coconut water wars. Each side quickly bulked up with sales teams and tried to win over Manhattan, one grocery store and yoga studio at a time.

It’s a far cry from the stalls all over India selling hacked-open-in-front-of-you coconuts.

Posted by Steve